In the midst of Greenbuild's International Conference & Expo, held from November 18–22 in Philadelphia, AN sought out the newest and most innovative sustainable building products. We found attractive new finishes and furnishings, including a new chair derived from carbon polymers, and a plethora of building components that aim to harness the Earth's energy for optimal building performance. Green Roofing Xero Flor America This vegetated green roofing solution (above) rolls out in a mat system for easy application, as well as rapid access for repairs. Each 40-inch wide panel is comprised of a root barrier, drain mat, water retention fleece, growing medium, and pre-vegetated layer of sedum. Also known as stonecrop, each order is grown in one of Xero Flor's six regional fields, so living roofs are acclimated to the installation environment and contribute to local LEED credits. Ecoflex Mortise Lock Assa Abloy The Ecoflex Mortise Lock runs on only 10 Watts of energy, whereas standard electrified locks draw nearly twice the wattage. Used as a stand-alone electronic access control or in conjunction with a wall reader, the reduced power draw cuts operating costs and its actuator reduces the risk of failure from voltage drops. Basotect BASF Basotect is made from an open-cell melamine resin foam, a thermoset polymer that does not contain mineral fibers. It is comprised of 99 percent air for maximum sound absorbancy and low density (read: lightweight) in corporate, education, civic, and institutional applications. Smog-Eating Tile Boral Suitable for both commercial and residential applications, concrete roofing tiles feature an embedded finish that converts nitrogen oxide from the air into inert compounds. For a recommended 3-inch headlap, approximately 89 tiles will cover 100 square feet. Six colorways are available in three profiles. Fleece-BACK PVC Membrane Carlisle SynTec Systems To bolster durability and the PVC membrane's puncture resistance, a layer of fleece backing adds thickness up to 135 mils and improves wind-uplift performance when bonded to an adhesive. Specified as part of a comprehensive roofing system, the membrane can help contribute to LEED points, as it did on the South Terrace of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. AirRenew CertainTeed CertainTeed's new gypsum board features embedded air purifying technology that captures formaldehyde and other aldehydes, converts them into inert compounds, and stores the particulates within the board for 75 years. Water-based acrylic and epoxy paints or breathable wallpaper will not affect efficacy, and AirRenew can be recycled at the end of its useful life. Enverge Cavity Wall Firestone Building Products Firestone adapted its polyisocyanite roofing technology and its insular properties for the vertical surfaces of a building with the Enverge Cavity Wall system. When combined, a suite of products—including a continuous insulation exterior wall insulation, air and vapor barrier, and thru-wall flashing—stops thermal bridging and optimizes building envelope performance according to ASHRAE standards. Reveal Glass Guardian Industries Guardian Industries' switchable glass features an interlayer of liquid crystals laminated between two sheets of glass that, when exposed to an electrical current, reconfigures floating molecules into a transparent grid pattern that appears clear to the naked eye. When the system is off, the molecules rest in a disorganized, natural state that lends opacity to the glass. The line is available in any of Guardian's color offerings, standard textures, and Berman Glass editions. 1630 SS ISO Kawneer Kawneer addresses the growing frequency of high-impact weather systems with a curtain wall designed to withstand hurricane and tornado conditions. The system has withstood blast mitigation testing, ASTM testing, and met building code standards for Florida's hurricane-prone Miami-Dade County, all with a reduced U-factor to meet current energy code demands. Grazie with AirCarbon KI KI's Grazie stacking chair was reimagined in a bio-based polymer(above)—AirCarbon—from California-based Newlight Technologies. A patented production method isolates carbon molecules from naturally occurring chemical compounds, converts them to a liquid state, and bonds them with polymers for a carbon-negative thermoplastic that can be substituted for oil-based plastics. Benchmark Kingspan Panels finished in ACM, MCM, ceramic, brick, and more feature polyisocyanates to eliminate thermal bridging, and a built-in vapor barrier for an air-tight building skin. Kingspan has developed EPDs for all Benchmark panels, which are also UL listed. MagnaShade MechoSystems Mechosystem's interior daylight management—in both manual and automated systems—is available in lengths as long as 40 feet for uninterrupted glare and heat gain mitigation, and the elimination of light gaps. A slim profile on the 6 1/2-inch housing cassette can be installed flush within a ceiling or soffit, or wall mounted. PermaLED Area Light Osram Sylvania Operating at 90, 140, or 200 Watts of power, the PermaLED luminaire for outdoor use generates a 57 percent energy savings when compared to HID lamps. Available with a standard photosensor or a dual-technology motion and photocontrol sensor, the latter provides up to 10kV surge protection. SPEEDHIDE zero PPG This topcoat paint contains no VOCs, formaldehyde, crystalline silica or ethylene glycol. Anti-microbial properties also help inhibit growth of mold and mildew on paint film. SPEEDHIDE zero is GreenGuard Gold certified and meets standards for California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). Harmony Sherwin-Williams Once this interior acrylic latex paint dries, a propriety chemical compound neutralizes aldehydes in the surrounding environment without the presence of a catalyst. Harmony, and 50 percent of Sherwin-Williams' paint offerings, have been certified GreenGuard Gold and contribute to LEED points under Version 4 revisions. ThermaCork Eco Supply Made from the bark of the quercus suber tree, ThermaCork features the inherent dimensional stability, water resistance, fire retardant properties, and acoustical isolation of cork, without additives. To form panels, the sap of the cork bark, or suberin, is heated to a liquid state and, once cooled, binds particles in place. The panels can also be applied as insulation.
Posts tagged with "Stormwater Management":
The following selections can substantially aid in stormwater management, along roofs, walls, plazas, and more. Hybrid Green Roof System LiveRoof This modular roofing system features Moisture Portal technology and hidden tray lips that connect the roots of each vegetation unit for even water and nutrient distribution across the entire system. In times of excess precipitation, drain channels disperse water at seven gallons per minute for each linear foot. LiveRoof features mature grasses and perennials for a monolithic appearance, but with modular benefits for maintenance and ease of installation. It comes with a 20-year module warranty. Easiwall TreeBox TreeBox’s vertical green cladding panel is made from recycled poly-propylene with a waterproof barrier along a solid back panel. Measuring just under 11 feet squared, each panel weighs 34 pounds empty and can support 150 pounds—including a saturated substrate—when attached to a vertical surface via galvanized steel support rails. Easiwall absorbs 35 to 40 percent of soil volume in moisture. Its modular design is scalable to most building dimensions. Silva Cell DeepRoot The Silva Cell modular containment system transfers above-grade loads to a compacted sub-base. Increased root space serves as an on-site storm water management system and can hold up to 2 inches of storm water. Each 48-by-24-by-16-inch frame features approximately 92 percent void space for ample soil distribution and can accommodate under-ground utilities. Recently specified to support 33 Maples at Toronto’s Sugar Beach, landscape architect Marc Hallé reported that the trees “look they are on steroids. EcoPriora Unilock Multiple shapes and colors are available in Unilock’s new permeable pavers thanks to the introduction of new face mix technology. The rectangular and square pavers—large and small—feature tight joint tolerances compliant with ADA regulation. The pavers also support rapid storm water infiltration and they are strong enough to support commercial vehicular traffic. Enka Retain & Drain Bonar Enka Retain & Drain combines effective green roof drainage while promoting root health by retaining requisite moisture. Water retention material is constructed from 100 percent post-industrial recycled non-woven polypropylene that is designed to hold 15 times its weight in water and conforms to irregular surfaces and offsets. The drainage core is made up of 40 percent post-industrial recycled polypropylene filaments entangled in a square waffle pattern that creates an open flow path for water. Rainstore3 Invisible Structures Constructed from injection-molded plastic, Rainstore panels are suitable for stormwater storage and retention systems in driving areas and parking lots. Thirty-six vertical columns in each 40-by-40-by-4-inch unit store up to a total of 25 gallons of water, and can be stacked up to 24 high, accommodating more storage than chambers and pipes over a smaller surface area. Its open design also supports exfiltration of stormwater along the bottom and sides of the chamber. EPDM Geomembrane Firestone Building Products Suitable for critical containment jobs or decorative water features, EPDM Geomembrane is a flexible, easily installable water barrier for constructed wetlands, agricultural ponds, reservoirs, and landscape features. A variety of panel sizes can be specified and, with 300 percent elongation potential, the product can conform to irregular shapes and contours. It is compatible with Firestone’s QuickSeam Tape for seamless connections. It is also safe for fish and wildlife. HOG RainwaterHOG This 50-gallon storage tank can be connected vertically or horizontally to other HOGs for increased storage capacity. Constructed from a ¼-inch thick, food-grade plastic resin, the HOG can contain potable water as easily as irrigation or emergency stores. The cistern’s outlet is located on the floor of the tank rather than the side for easier access. Designed in Australia for warmer climates, it can withstand temperatures between 22 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to a UV8 stabilizer mixed into the resin.
In an effort to manage excess rainwater and sewage spills at Seattle's Barton Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO), officials have pulled out a small army of little red wagons to help illustrate green infrastructure improvements for residents. According to Sightline Daily, officials presented residents with rain garden maps and rolled out life-size tarps along the road to show the dimensions of planned bioswales and how they would interact with residents' front yards and sidewalks. These swales can soak up large quantities of stormwater, helping prevent discharges of polluted water from the combined rainwater and sewage system. (Photo: Vineyard Adventures / Flickr)
Los Angeles’s alleys have a bad reputation. They’re perceived, rightly or wrongly, as dirty, dangerous places; havens for illicit activity. All that might change soon, thanks to a demonstration project planned for South Los Angeles' South Park neighborhood. Called the Avalon Green Alley Network Demonstration, the project aims to transform at least eight segments of alleyway into an inviting pedestrian thoroughfare. The Avalon project is an initiative of Parks for People—Los Angeles, a Trust for Public Land program that has been working toward a citywide green alleys program for four years, since the USC Center for Sustainable Cities released a report on Los Angeles’s alleys' potential as environmental and social resources. The report looked at green alleys programs in other large cities, including Chicago and Seattle, and concluded that LA’s 900 linear miles of alleys might be put to use solving another of the city’s major problems: a shortage of public space. What does it mean to “green” an alley? As Laura Ballock and Tori Kjer, both of Parks for People, explained, it’s more than just improving stormwater drainage or providing cafe seating. In South Park, alleys targeted for greening will receive one of two treatments. First-tier alleys will see asphalt pavement replaced with absorptive materials, to reduce stormwater runoff. They’ll also be planted with vegetation and fruit trees and accented with public art. The remaining alleys will be cleaned up and beautified with vines and artwork. One section of alley in the Avalon area will be transformed into a pedestrian mall, with vehicular access prohibited. As important as these physical changes to LA’s alleys may be, they won’t make a real difference unless the city’s residents embrace them. To that end, Parks for People has already done extensive outreach in South Park. According to Kjer, residents who hadn’t previously met their neighbors are working together, attending meetings and forming “green teams” to clean their alleys. On the design side, the demonstration project will include pedestrian-scale elements and other graphic cues to encourage regular use. “We want it to become something so that you don’t avoid alleys, but go down alleys because they look cool, and maybe are better than the sidewalk,” Ballock said. Parks for People chose South Los Angeles as the site of their green alley demonstration project because of the “possibility for real impact,” Kjer said. The area, which has been neglected in previous rounds of infrastructure improvements, is notoriously park-poor. In addition, its proximity to the Los Angeles River means that any reduction in stormwater runoff will aid the local ecology. “We could’ve chosen alleys in a more affluent part of the city, where there would be less barriers to the project. But for the Trust for Public Land, the mission is land for the people, Kjer said. We haven’t even put a shovel in the ground yet, but the work already paying off. It’s definitely worthwhile.”
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is planning an extensive expansion of its facilities. On May 7, at The Philadelphia School, representatives from Cooper, Robertson & Partners—the New York–based architecture firm selected to design the hospital—revealed renderings to community members regarding the world's oldest and largest children's hospital. Along with the construction of modern facilities, highlights include innovative stormwater management solutions and an open campus with extensive green spaces. The project consists of a large existing facility below the South Street Bridge on nine acres of land. The new buildings will be positioned with their long sides perpendicular to the river in an effort to minimize their presence, thus offering extensive waterfront views throughout the grounds. Open spaces will include a green plaza on South Street and a promenade that offers various ways to enter the new buildings. The Schuylkill River Trail will be extended to Christian Street and will emphasize a natural environment with large trees and supplemental shady areas. On the banks of the Schuylkill River, the hospital will be a model for stormwater management facilities. The stormwater concepts for CHOP involve rain gardens for surface run-off and a cistern for roof run-off reuse. Collecting stormwater and filtering it into the adjacent river will protect the facility and surrounding area from possible flooding and erosion. Phase One Development will culminate by mid-2017 with a total gross development area of 743,000 square feet, of which 546,000 (approximately twenty-three stories) are dedicated solely to office based research. The site will also incorporate interim commercial space in addition to parking and loading space. Plans were initially presented last year and final designs will be confirmed in the next few months. With CHOP’s current collaboration and coordination with the district, plans are expected to progress promptly and have the community saying, "chop, chop." [Via Curbed.]
In May 2011, a shocking 80 percent of the 59 water samples taken from various sites in the Hudson River were determined to be unacceptable by the Riverkeeper, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving water quality on the Hudson River. What makes water “unacceptable”? Sampled sites are tested for enterococcus, a human pathogen often found in sewage that can potentially cause health problems like Meningitis and urinary tract infection. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Enterococcus count standards vary for different sites (for beaches, state governments discourage swimming if the count is over 35 colony forming units per 100ml). As for the part of Hudson River bordering New York City, an enterococcus count greater than 104 units per 100mL is considered "unacceptable." And, quite frankly, gross. This year, according to Riverkeeper's latest water quality report from May, only 12 percent of the sampling sites were unacceptable and 7 percent were diagnosed with possible risk. The enterococcus count along the East River at 23rd Street was reported to be a mere 10 units per 100ml. What has caused the seemingly huge increase in water quality around New York City? It appears this year's gains were a meteorological fluke caused by differences in weather over the two years. Frequent rainy weather during May 2011 caused stormwater to overwhelm the city's sewer system creating a condition known as Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). The excess rainwater present during a CSO causes raw sewage to be discharged into nearby bodies of water. This year, May was relatively dry, leaving the sewer systems intact and the enterococcus levels low. In effort to avoid such leakages caused by stormwater, a new plan for gray and green infrastructure with over $5 billion in funding was implemented in April, 2012. The plan calls for green and blue roofs to capture and store stormwater, allowing it to slowly seep into the sewers rather than overwhelming them all at once. Specially-designed plant beds, rain gardens, and tree pits with engineered soil and water-loving plants also hold water, filtering it and absorbing pollutants. While New York dodged a sewage-filled bullet this year, this initiative promoting innovative rainwater management infrastructure could help achieve sustained water quality increases in years to come.
A decade after the 9/11 attacks, the public will soon be able to visit the site, much of which has been fully transformed into the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. While many were dispirited by the years of revisions to and deviations from the Libeskind master plan (which itself had many detractors), AN's recent visit to the plaza, crowded with workers laboring toward the anniversary opening, revealed a vast, contemplative space that we predict will function well as both a memorial and a public space. Next week AN will take a look at the design and offer a preview of the what the public can expect from the space, but, first, a look at how the highly engineered plaza works. With transit tunnels, mechanical systems, and much of the memorial museum located below the surface, the plaza itself could only be approximately six feet thick. Unlike the original World Trade Center Plaza, which many found to be barren and scorching or windswept, the Memorial Plaza is conceived of as an abstracted forest of Swamp White Oaks surrounding two monumental pools outlining the footprints of the original towers. Designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker Partners, with Aedas, the plaza will include approximately 400 trees, 215 of which will be in place for the opening. About one third of the plaza has yet to be constructed, while the Santiago Calatrava designed PATH station is being completed. Plaza plantings are arranged in bands, alternating between bands of pavers and bands of trees, grass, and ground cover. This creates both a unifying visual language for the large plaza and a highly rational system for organizing the mechanical and irrigation systems on the site. Between the planting bands, accessible utility corridors house electrical and security equipment. Drainage troughs divide the planting bands from the utility corridors. The whole plaza acts as a vast stormwater collection tray. The plaza is very carefully graded to channel stormwater into the drainage troughs. Rainwater is collected in cisterns below and recirculated in the plaza's drip irrigation system as well as funnelled into the memorial fountain. The trees grow in a lightweight mixture of sand, shale, and worm casings. Growing and installing the plaza's oaks has been a long process. Given the pace of slow construction, the trees, which have been cultivated at a nursery in New Jersey, are much larger now, most standing around 25 feet tall. Trees were hauled onto the site with cranes and then placed in the planting beds with a specially designed lift. Tree roots will spread laterally, filling in the planting bands, and designers believe they will eventually reach 60 to 80 feet in height. The roots are anchored with bracing under the stone pavers. While the PATH station is being completed, the remaining unfinished plaza is still an uncovered construction site, inaccessible to the public. According to Matthew Donham, a partner at Peter Walker, the construction of that portion of the plaza will be even thinner in depth. Aside from an expansion joint, there will be no visible difference between the two sides.